Ever say this to yourself? Damn if I do. In fact, I had a rather nasty episode with this kind of thinking not too long ago that left me quite depressed and I was a hair-breath away from just trashing my entire novel. And I mean deleting it off my hard drive and making the four drafts and two years of hard work just disappear. Gone… just like that. Yeah, it was not a good day.
Thankfully, I resisted the urge and closed my computer and walked away instead. I would have really hated myself later if I’d actually gone through with it. And it’s a sad thing to admit… that wasn’t the first day I felt like that.
It comes and goes. There are times where I’m writing and I feel like I’m Steven King or J.K. Rowling and my stuff is super awesome! And then there are days where I feel like a fifth grader can do better than the crap I put out. Writing is nothing, if not an emotional roller coaster. Somedays I even wonder why I do it, but most days I’m smart enough to realize that without my writing — whether it be good, bad, or somewhere in between — I wouldn’t have nearly as a fulfilling life.
In the end, writing isn’t about what is written, but the journey that is taken in the pursuit of writing.
And that was the only thing that saved my poor novel.
I have gone and written a few scenes in my novel since my day of despair, and I don’t feel so bad about my writing anymore, but I know one day it will happen again. After all, we are our own worst critic. But in truth what we may see as crap and terrible may actually be pretty decent. And very rarely are things so dire as we like to believe.
So if you ever find yourself wanting to delete your story or proclaim to the world… I suck at writing… take a deep breath and walk away. Just until you get a little more perspective and things don’t seem as awful as you once thought. One thing I know for certain… no one truly sucks at anything as long as they have the determination to keep going.